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Web accessibility is a hot topic nowadays, especially with Global Accessibility Awareness Day fast approaching. However, less than 2% of the world’s top one million websites have full accessibility. The rest have significant barriers preventing disabled users from enjoying the full website experience. Here are some of those barriers and how you can address them.
Visual content without alt text
While many content marketers or web developers look at image alt text as an SEO action item, alt text was originally intended to make images accessible to people with disabilities. Screen readers use alt text to tell blind users about an image.
Most content management systems allow you to add alt text to images with a few mouse clicks. However, finding and tagging images could be a tedious task, which is the reason you need to look into remediation automation software.
Low-contrast color palettes
Some websites use low-contrast colors with their text for aesthetic purposes. However, this affects readability, especially among users with visual impairments or using low-quality monitors or small screens. Changing your text color into one that contrasts sharply with the background will make it more readable. For example, if you use a gray background, you need to use dark text, like black or dark gray.
Videos without transcripts
While audio and video make ideas come alive, they aren’t accessible to users with specific disabilities, such as hearing or visual impairments. Adding captions to your videos makes them accessible to deaf users, while adding transcripts to a page with a video makes your content accessible to blind users through screen readers.
Elements that are not controllable with a keyboard
Some users encounter difficulties with operating a mouse or trackpad. To make your website accessible to these users, you need to make your website operable with a keyboard. The solution lies in making website elements focusable with a keyboard, (that is, the user can point to elements using the arrow keys), then making these elements interactive, (for example, opening a link).
Text that uses the wrong font
While screen readers can help visually impaired users understand your text content, they are not always accurate. Using the right font can help make your website accessible.
When selecting a font for your website, choose a simple font that is already installed on most computers so it is displayed correctly regardless of the device. Examples are Arial, Lucida Sans, and Helvetica. You may also use a specially designed font for users with dyslexia, or other visual cognitive disabilities.
If your website has any of the barriers discussed above, you need to conduct an extensive accessibility analysis. This process takes a lot of time and effort, and the cost of content remediation could be an accessibility barrier in itself, especially for small businesses.
Fortunately, UserWay’s AI-powered accessibility widget scans your code, identifies accessibility issues, and remediates a significant percentage of these issues in real time – all with just a few lines of code.